‘Zelda’-Like Adventure Game ‘Baldo’ and ‘Asphalt 8: Airborne+’ Announced for Apple Arcade

It never ceases to amaze me how the App Store has formed such a rich history in such a short amount of time. I’m not just talking about the many great games that have been released over the years, but also the many, many games that have been announced only to just sort of… vanish. One such game is the action adventure Baldo from Italian developer Naps Team who you probably know from the PlayStation 1 era brawler Gekido and its Game Boy Advance follow-up Kintaro’s Revenge, or even from Maria the Witch which once upon a time was available for mobile. Well, way back in November of 2016 Naps originally announced Baldo in our forums as a “truly Zelda style adventure" and in the spring the following year we posted about it officially after they emailed us some new details and a bunch of new screen shots.

And then news on Baldo for mobile just sort of stopped. A couple of years later the game made a big splash in the video game world at large with a new gameplay trailer, and it was revealed that the game would be coming to consoles and PC, but no mention of mobile anymore. That sort of thing actually happens often, but you always still hold out a tiny bit of hope for that mobile release. Well it turns out that’s actually happening thanks to Apple Arcade, as Baldo is now officially hitting all major platforms including iOS on August 27th. Here’s a new trailer courtesy of IGN.

As has always been very clear, you can spot all sorts of Zelda inspiration throughout Baldo. That was actually the intention from the very start, to marry a Zelda-like adventure with the anime stylings of the legendary Studio Ghibli, and that’s pretty much exactly what you get in that trailer. Interestingly, as the story goes, the idea for this came about more than a decade and a half ago, but Naps didn’t feel like they could adequately realize their vision with the gaming hardware of the time. Obviously that’s not really a concern anymore, even in the world of smartphones and tablets. Look for Baldo to launch a month from now and until then you can talk about this one in our forums.

Not to be forgotten in the big Baldo announcement is that a second game has popped up in the Coming Soon section of Apple Arcade today. It’s another “+" version of an existing App Store release and this time around it’s Gameloft’s wonderfully over-the-top racer Asphalt 8: Airborne. The Asphalt series has been kicking around for darn near 20 years, but it wasn’t until Asphalt 8 that I fell in love with it. I guess I didn’t know how much I needed a racing game where you can basically do skateboard tricks with your car. The original version has always had a “super grindy but fair" monetization model, so I’m very interested to see what a no ads and no IAP version of it is like on Apple Arcade. Asphalt 8: Airborne+ looks like it’ll be arriving on August 27th as well, and until then you can talk about this one in our forums here if you wish.